Touched by an Angel in Cameroon

Posted: November 2, 2019 in Current Affairs, Meditations
grayscale side view portrait photo of man posing with his eyes closed

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On Thursday, October 31, 2019, President Trump announced he would end preferential trade benefits to Cameroon, citing “persistent gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” I can already see eyes widen or squint, your mind flashes, “Cameroon?” Cameroon means nothing to most of us. President Paul Biya is an obtuse factoid in Jeopardy trivia. The ongoing atrocities perpetrated by the French speaking majority against their English speaking brothers goes silent to the indifference of a world with no skin in this perverse game. But I know, I feel it – not because I’m some cosmopolitan globalist – no, I feel it because I live and fellowship  with the men and women who have escaped the assault of their own people. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is a mighty good thing to know men, not from looking at them, but from having been one of them. When you have worked with them, when you have lived with them, you do not have to wonder how they feel, because you feel it yourself.” And thus begins our story.

Monday night Bible study began like any other. Silly banter, hearty laughter – what else would you expect from an odd collection of men? The door opened, a young man entered. A bit nervous, he flashed a big smile, “Hi, my name is Lewis.” Before the night was out, we heard the gripping story of a young man’s journey to America, a tale of a boy from Cameroon who dared to dream.

Lewis grew up under the heavy hand of President Paul Biya, the only leader Lewis has ever known. His family, members of the English speaking minority, felt the every pressing persecution of Biya’s rule year upon year. Lewis, the eldest son, saw his prospects dim. Life was hard. He quit school at sixteen, a crushing blow. But fate put a man’s burden on a boy’s shoulders. Lewis was now the sole support for his family. 

Months, then years passed. Lewis once dreamed of going to America. He dreamed of going to school, securing a good job, winning the heart of a woman and raising a family. Instead he toiled at menial work, a hated minority, his prospects bleak. Dark nights brought tears in the silence. “God, can I still dream? Where is my hope this side of heaven?” Morning came, nothing changed. Lewis went to work, and he toiled.

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, was introduced in 1990. Millions apply every year, all with the dream of coming to American. Mere thousands will get the chance. Lewis worked his job in the heat of another Cameroon day. His foreman gave him an envelope, it was from the United States Government. His name had been drawn. Lewis collapsed, he burst into tears, pent up pain and joy flowed indiscriminately from secret places he knew not where. In that moment, an angel touched a young man in Cameroon. His dream no longer a dream, Lewis is completing a nursing program in the United States. Someday soon his young bride will join him and by God’s grace they will raise a family in America.

Lewis and his story instructs the lives of each of us. We hope in God regardless of circumstance. In our darkest hour, we hope, we trust. This much we know, God knows. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 8,9

Comments
  1. Durkwa says:

    Breathtaking inspiration.

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